Chris Carpenter could begin throwing program in mid-June

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Cardinals GM John Mozeliak provided an update on the status of Chris Carpenter on Saturday. B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest has the goods:

“If I had to guess, sometime in mid-June hopefully we’ll be ready to start thinking about a throwing program,” said the general manager. “His strength is getting stronger and that’s measurable, so that’s something everybody is looking at as a positive.”

Carpenter will need at least five weeks from the time he begins throwing, so the best case scenario has him joining the Cardinals’ starting rotation in late July. But that’s assuming he can avoid further setbacks.

The 37-year-old right-hander has been sidelined since late in spring training with nerve irritation in his neck and throwing shoulder. He registered a 3.45 ERA across a major league-high 237 1/3 innings last year before going 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in six postseason starts (three of which were during the World Series).

Carp’s fill-in, Lance Lynn, has opened 2012 with a 6-0 record and 1.40 ERA through his first six starts.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.